Shelter statement on Work Programme
17 February 2012
Shelter does not participate in the Work Programme scheme.
The Work Programme (also known as WorkFare) is a new scheme run by the Department for Work and Pensions to encourage people who are receiving benefits back to work.
Part of the scheme places volunteers in organisations, including charities, to provide them with skills and experience to help the on the way to future employment.
Some Shelter shops, which rely on volunteers, did provide a few placements for volunteers under the Work Programme. But in 2011 Shelter reviewed its involvement and decided not to participate in the scheme.
The link between valuable volunteering opportunities and the receipt of benefits under the programme is complex, and has led to cases where people's understanding of what they have signed up to is different from the reality.
Shelter decided that it was in the best interests of both potential volunteers and Shelter not to participate in the programme.
Volunteers are still very important to Shelter, and we will continue to explore new ways of involving them in our vital work in tackling bad housing and homelessness.